Festival: Ljubljana International Film Festival 2017

Festival information

Who? Ljubljana International Film Festival

What? Apart from screenings of Slovenian films, it also regularly features renowned authors’ film retrospectives, international independent film programmes and a short films competition.

When? 8 – 19 November 2017

Where? Ljubljana, Slovenia

Festival Website: http://www.liffe.si/index.php/en/about-liffe

To learn more about the films, including interviews, trailers, where to watch and more, please click on the film title.


In the Blood [+]

Directed by Rasmus Heisterberg [+]

23-year-old Simon goes to medical school in Copenhagen. He parties, drinks and chases girls together with his friends Knud, S?ren and Esben. But it is also a time of change between the friends and when everyone except Simon decides it’s time to sell their shared apartment this creates a growing tension within the group. Whilst the others gravitate towards the safe haven of adulthood, Simon is not ready to let go of his airy adolescent life. He becomes smitten with a bartender, Emilie, but is unable to acknowledge his growing love for her. This only sends him deeper into a world of never-ending parties, which slowly threatens to destroy his friendships.

Festival Link


The Swan [+]

Directed by Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir [+]

The story follows Sól, a 9-year-old girl who is sent to distant relatives for a summer to work and to mature at their countryside farm. For Sól there is an added element: she’s been sent away to the farm as punishment for shoplifting, and because her parents have split. The animals charm her, and she befriends a mysterious farmhand. The more acquainted she becomes with the ways of the farm, though, the more contradictions she notices, especially the uncle and aunt’s constant claim that nature’s laws are the reasons for their actions.
“In the film, the farmer and his wife stand for the very human desire to “keep house” in the wilderness that is human nature, whereas the farmhand stands for the opposite: a life of chaos and emotional freedom. This conflict is one of the main threads in the film, and one that both the girl and the farmers’ daughter are struggling with; this conflict between wanting to be “normal” versus facing your true, complicated nature.”

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Heartstone [+]

Directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson [+]

In a small village in rural Iceland, Thor and Christian are best friends whose home lives are unsatisfactory, to say the least. Thor is ruthlessly mocked by his elder sisters, while his mother can’t be bothered to hide her frustration at having to sacrifice her pleasure for the sake of her children. Christian has a drunken and abusive father. When the two friends strike up romantic relationships with a pair of girls, the events that follow threaten to destroy the longest and most meaningful relationship either has ever had.

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Tongue Cutters

Directed by Solveig Melkeraaen

Small children, big knives. A youth doc about young kids from the age of five working as cod tongue cutters in northern Norway.
In this charming and whimsical coming-of-age story, nine-year-old Ylva dreams of following in her family’s footsteps and earning money by working a season in the fisheries of northern Norway. 10-year-old Tobias, a highly skilled and ambitious tongue cutter, takes her under his wing and shows her the art. With slickers on and knives sharpened, the joyful duo dive into their work. Over time, they discover they have much in common, and as Tobias’ big dreams inspire Ylva, their bond grows. What could Tobias be saving his earnings for?

Festival Link

Thelma [+]

Directed by Joachim Trier [+]

Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected seizure. Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student. As the semester continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja – feelings she doesn’t dare acknowledge, even to herself – while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of inexplicable, often dangerous, supernatural abilities, Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past, and the terrifying implications of her powers.

Festival Link


Sami Blood [+]

Directed by Amanda Kernell [+]

Ella, a reindeer-breeding Sami girl, grew up in the vast expanses of the untamed Lapland. Turning 14, she starts attending a Swedish boarding school in Uppsala, the fourth largest Swedish town. Fitting into Swedish society proves more challenging than she thought, and she quickly learns that to integrate, she must break all ties with her family and culture.

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Room 213 [+]

Directed by Emelie Lindblom [+]

Summer vacation after 6th grade and twelve-year-old Elvira is going on a camp. She and her two roommates, Meja and Bea, will stay in room 213 – where no one has lived for sixty years. Soon inexplicable events start to happen. A letter with an ancient handwriting leads the girls to an old lady in a run-down house in the woods. The lady tells them that a girl died at the camp sixty years ago. And since then a red-haired girl has been sneaking around in the corridors at night.

Festival Link

Cloudboy [+]

Directed by Meikeminne Clinckspoor [+]

Twelve-year-old Niilas travels to Lapland where his Swedish mother and her new family live amongst the Sami, an indigenous reindeer-herding people. Niilas hates parting from his father with whom he has been leading a cosy urban existence, and retreats inwards. The only one who can get through to him is his half-sister Sunn?. The reindeer migration is fully underway and Niilas has to lend a helping hand. Out of spite, Niilas releases a herd of deer and one of the reindeers goes missing. Niilas joins in the search, and an impressive moose keeps crossing his path at the most unexpected moments. The shy cityboy becomes a wild boy, discovering a physicality and strength he wasn’t aware off. Against all odds, Niilas experiences the most adventurous summer of his life.

Festival Link

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.